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Studies in World Christianity 30.1

Creation and Climate Change

The June 2023 meeting of the Yale—Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission was held in Edinburgh with hybrid hubs in Nairobi, Singapore and São Paulo. The topic for the conference, ‘Creation, Climate Change, and World Christianity’, brought together a dynamic conversation which had a surprisingly strong theological and ethical tone around the two keywords: creation and climate change. The first is a theological concept, since it assumes that something or someone enacted the work of creating. Hence, many Christians declare in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed a belief in a God who is ‘Creator of Heaven and Earth’. Yet, these same Christians often appear to focus more on the heavenly realm than on the earthly realm. Furthermore, the popularity of theologies of domination over creation have led some to agree with Lynn White’s assessment that ‘Christianity is the most anthropocentric religion the world has seen.’ It cannot be overstated how essential any discussion about creation must consider the rapid climate change that challenges and disrupts the lives of humans and all other creatures which call this planet home. This demands a historical account of how we arrived at this crisis and asks what we can or should do about the situation – a matter of ethics.

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